This is my story.
Hi guys, my name is Amanda and I am a new mom with a type A personality. I am a total control freak and always anxious. I am here to share my story about my client relationship turned fascinating friendship with Kristin, my life saver sleep coach! Turns out…she totally gets my desire for control!
When I decided to reach out to Kristin, my baby girl was just shy of four months old. Getting pregnant did not come easy for me and the entire process, for the most part, was completely out of my control.
Being the control freak that I am, the day I found out I was pregnant, I started my research…Google became my best friend. I followed every sleep expert on Instagram, bought too many newborn classes to admit and bought every book there was. Full disclosure, I read none of them! I also bought at least five baby books to fill out. I started two and finished neither!
I made it my mission to be as prepared as humanly possible. I googled “must have baby items” and added them ALL to my registry. These were things I could control. I took a lactation class and I had planned to do birthing classes but then… COVID happened. My initial birth plan of going back to Miami to have the baby changed to me staying in Jamaica. Needless to say, being pregnant/becoming a mother during a pandemic, and an anxious one at that, was not and is still is NOT easy.
If I am being honest, when I reached out to Kristin, my daughter was and still is a very good baby. She is a very happy baby and has always been on a “good” schedule because well… hello… I am her mother and I LIVE for a schedule. Organization makes me happy! Just ask my husband, he doesn’t mess with my schedules LOL.
Before starting with Kristin, I had already purchased the Taking Cara Babies newborn class as well as a couple others (I KNOW… so extra!) & I even paid for 30-minute consults with multiple sleep experts to ensure that I would be able to have all that I needed to get my baby on a schedule. Moms on Call, you name it, I had it and to be honest they all pretty much have the same guidelines/recipe for success. I personally just needed more.
Though these programs were helpful and DID help me to establish a foundation for my daughter (I don’t want to take away from these other programs!), I was not where I wanted to be and found it hard to implement and troubleshoot my scenarios. I followed the sample schedules to a tee (trust me, if it said 3pm it was 3pm, my mom would always say five minutes won’t hurt anyone) but struggled with the flexibility. My daughter was not napping for longer than 30-35 minutes, so to me, when the “master schedule” had the perfect baby napping from 10-12…. Well, that was just not happening, so I didn’t know what to tweak. Her nights were good! She was waking for one feed during the night, but days were a STRUGGLE!
I would watch the clock like a hawk and worry about how long she would sleep and if bad days would turn into bad nights. I was worried about sleep crutches, giving the pacifier vs not and everything else there was to worry about. Yes, I am a worry wort! I’m very aware and am working on it.
KRISTIN TO THE RESCUE! Kristin welcomed me with open arms and asked me lots of questions regarding my current situation as well as my labor and delivery (which I will admit, I found a bit odd, why did she need to know that). OF COURSE (again, type A) I immediately screenshotted my app which carefully outlined every moment of the day… when she fed, slept, pooped, peed etc.! I also explained that my labor and delivery was smooth sailing. I had a fairly easy delivery however, due to COVID and hospital rules, my husband was not able to stay with me overnight at the hospital. I spent the first night of my baby’s life with her, alone, exhausted and petrified of every and anything. I didn’t know if she was getting enough milk… let’s get real, I was a new mom I didn’t know much. Anyway, we made it through and thankfully I was home the next day!
After my thorough “new client questionnaire”, Kristin told me what we needed to tweak and how we were going to get my daughter sleeping better for her naps. I must also add that she very respectfully told me that we were suffering from what she calls “CRAP NAPS” and that was our starting point.
I started with Kristin after my daughters first nap on August 15th which was a whopping 20 minutes. According to everything I read, the first nap of the day was supposed to be the longest, wooops #firstfail. After making minor changes suggested by Kristin, baby girl slept for an hour and 20 minutes. I WAS SHOOK. It was in this moment that Kristin became my holy grail. I now reported my every move… even things that did not apply to sleep, i.e., after introducing a lovey to the mix, I sent her the picture below saying “this is night mode, don’t worry the room is black as hell ( I felt the need to make sure she knew the room was dark ) but do I need to move that lovie??? (notice the urgency in my ???), she put it there” to which she replied,” LOL no she’s totally fine don’t worry, she can move it. (insert heart emoji).” I immediately felt at ease.
I also sent a picture of the exact lovie to make sure she had a correct reference. ( 🤦♀️ 🤦♀️ 🤦♀️ I know, I’m nuts)
After a successful first day of no more crap naps, I was obsessed with making each nap better and then of course got hooked on wanting to perfect the nights, but… one thing at a time.
After expressing my worry about her not sleeping well, we ended the first day with her saying, “Don’t worry, I’m here now” and that she was.
Oh, and I must note, she also told me my room was TOO bright and that if I did not have suitable blackout curtains, (she made me send a video of the nursery, they were NOT suitable according to her) I needed to use garbage bags to block out the light. She mentioned something about circadian rhythms and explained why I needed to make the room pitch black. My OCD brain did not like the idea of garbage bags but I caved, and it DID make a difference. Now I have proper blackouts!
Kristin was able to manage my OCD tendencies and Type A personality while still teaching me about wake windows, feeding on wake, nap/bedtime routines etc. I became obsessed with figuring out wake windows… I still am!
I LOVE knowing that I can plan my day and that at a certain time I can do x or y when she is asleep. She helped me become flexible!
For the sake of honesty, I will also admit that I felt the need to watch the baby all night long! When Kristin found out I was sleeping with the monitor on max volume and max brightness, with my husband in the room, she convinced me it was OK to turn it down to volume 2 and to put the monitor to sleep. My husband was very grateful to her for that (LOL) and asked her if she could sleep train me, now that our baby was a perfect little sleeper. (rolls eyes)
Truthfully, with all my purchases, I had the information, what I did not have was Kristin. Kristin makes herself available to her clients through live coaching and in my very honest opinion, LIVE COACHING makes all the difference in the world. She was there to answer my every question or concern, to hold my hand (virtually), to encourage me or simply just to say, “you’re doing well momma!”. She was invested. On our live coaching days, she would message me to check in before I messaged her and each time that would happen, I would smile! She cares! In a vulnerable moment, there is no judgement. If something didn’t work, we would go back to the drawing board and start again.
Our days got better, and so did our nights. My daughter has been sleeping through the night consistently since she was 4.5 months. Her naps are predictable and more perfect than not. My anxiety surrounding sleep is now WAY LESS! Bedtime is no longer stressful for me because we sing our songs, read a book, cuddle, I place her down awake and she goes right to sleep. Of course, things come up, but when they do … Kristin is always there. I hired Kristin for live coaching when I was travelling with my baby for the first time ever… and alone.
We went on a five-day trip and I was anxious about my daughter not adapting to the new environment and thus messing up everything we had worked so hard to achieve. This has always been my biggest fear!
Through live coaching on my travel day, Kristin was able to help me get my daughter to adjust and adapt to her new environment. From facetiming her to show her the sleeping space to the gazillion… OMG she is awake wtf do I do now, we got through and my daughter went right back into her normal routine when we got home. No hiccups! I remember when we returned home, I messaged Kristin and said… so does this mean she is officially sleep trained, she quickly reassured me and said, YES DUH, she’s perfect!
I am so grateful to Kristin for all of her help! I tell all my friends about her…really, I tell anyone who will listen. I always thought sleep training meant crying, but it doesn’t have to! She will create a plan that will work for your family. She is not cookie cutter and genuinely believes in helping the client. Live coaching is what sets her apart from all the other methods/experts I have tried. She will hold your hand throughout what sometimes feels like the hardest process ever. There are not enough good things to say so I will end with… thank you Kristin for dedicating your time to live coaching me and despite my type A controlling personality, sticking with me until we created a perfect sleeper who loves her bed and her sleep!
Amanda, 11 month old girl